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Input Club Nightfox review: A compact and swanky keyboard for your desk

By Koh Wanzi - 15 May 2018

Black beauty

The Nightfox is quite the dusky beauty. (Image Source: Input Club)

Black beauty

The world of mechanical keyboards is a literal rabbit hole that for your sake I hope you haven’t gone down. But regardless of whether you’re happy with your run-of-the-mill rubber dome keyboard or are in constant pursuit of new and exotic switches to try, it’s not hard to appreciate what Input Club has done with the Nightfox.

Input Club isn’t a name that people outside of the keyboard enthusiast space will readily recognize, but they’re responsible for some of the best-looking keyboards I’ve seen. The company is a computer hardware startup that comprises a small group of keyboard enthusiasts looking to outdo existing keyboards with custom designs and innovative new features.

They’re responsible for keyboards like the Infinity ErgoDox split keyboard, the Infinity 60%, the K-Type, and of course, the White Fox. The Nightfox is basically a dark version of the latter, and it’s a sleek creature that will wow you with its dusky good looks, a solid aluminum chassis, and a minimalist floating-key design.

This is a 65% keyboard that won't take up much space on your desk. (Image Source: Input Club)

The Nightfox (and Whitefox) actually shares a very similar design with the K-Type, and it can be thought of as a 65% version of the latter. If you like the minimalist aesthetic of the K-Type but want something that takes up less space on your desk, the Nightfox is right up your alley.

The keyboard features dark anthracite gray keycaps and deep red arrow and Esc keys, which makes for quite a lovely contrast. The aluminum case, plate, and screws have been colored to match the keycaps, and the overall look conveys an elegance that puts many other keyboards to shame.

The materials aren’t just for show either, and the Nightfox oozes quality. This is probably one of the best-built keyboards I own, and I own quite a few of them. The aluminum body is reassuringly solid and there’s no discernible flex to it. All things considered, this truly feels like a keyboard that will last you a lifetime and then some, provided you don’t do anything too crazy with it.

You can also see the creators’ attention to detail in things like the black braided USB-C cable. Personally, I don’t think braided cables make that much of a difference as I find that they’re often stiffer and more difficult to manage. While the cable on the Nightfox does feel quite stiff, it matches the keyboard perfectly, and I can’t stress enough how much I appreciate the use of the reversible USB-C connector.

The USB-C port is a lot easier to work with than a micro or mini USB connector.

Many keyboards use micro-USB or mini-USB connectors, which can be quite a pain to deal with. It also doesn’t help that these connectors are often buried in inaccessible niches located on the underside of the keyboard. On the other hand, the Nightfox’s USB-C connector sits prominently on the left edge and I can guide the cable into place without needing to pay too much attention to it.

I also like the dye-sublimated PBT keycaps. Frankly, at US$189 for the keyboard, I’d expect nothing less. PBT is more durable than cheaper and more common ABS keycaps. More importantly, it’s more capable of resisting the oils on your hands, so it won’t develop an unsightly shine over time. PBT also feels slightly rougher than ABS, and I find the textured surface more enjoyable to type on.  

Input Club hasn't skimped on the quality of the keycaps.

Furthermore, the dye-sublimated legends also won’t fade over time as the dye penetrates the plastic, unlike cheaper pad-printed legends.

Having said all that, I haven’t gotten into the layout and switches on the Nightfox, which are arguably what helps it really stand out. Head over to page two to find out more about them.

  • Design 9
  • User-Friendliness 8
  • Features 9
  • Performance 8.5
  • Value 7
The Good
Excellent build quality and beautiful design
Detachable, braided USB-C cable
Dye-sublimated, PBT keycaps
Retains arrow key cluster despite being a compact keyboard
The Bad
Hako switches not for everyone
Non-standard layout needs getting used to
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